Think Like a Salesman
First thing is first; leasing consultants don’t just lease, they sell. They are sales professionals who pitch your apartment community to potential renters. On top of that, they are asking potential renters to trust them enough to sign a 12-month lease to make a vacant apartment their new home.
If you’re looking to help your leasing consultants gain or improve their sales mindset, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 8 apartment leasing best practices for multifamily professionals who want to get their leasing teams thinking outside the box and renting more units.
Incentivize the Apartment Leasing Process
Who doesn’t love a good incentive and a little recognition for hard work? Set a goal for your leasing consultants. For example, challenge them to get 20 new prospects through community outreach or to sign at least 5 leases a month. Once the goal is met, reward your leasing team with a prize. Ideas include a paid day off, lunch with the boss, $50 gift card, bragging rights as leasing professional of the month, etc. Using this tactic gets your leasing consultants excited about their job and even creates a little friendly competition.
Bonus: A much more effective sales training technique is to tell your leasing consultants that they’re doing a good job. Always use specifics to make these successes tangible and more meaningful.
Coach Your Apartment Leasing Consultants for Success
Be a mentor to your leasing consultants. Coach them, praise them, and delegate more responsibility their way. Include them on community reports, owner’s expectations, and financial goals to get your whole team on the same page. An encouraged and supported employee will also rise to the occasion. And every leasing professional should feel as if their company’s leadership supports them 100%.
Emphasize the Art of Conversation and Listening
Conversation is a lost art and so is listening. Do your leasing consultants know that a lead can turn into a prospect during the first 30 seconds of a phone call? Best practice for your leasing consultants is for them to help, rather than sell, by asking engaging questions, like what the prospects are looking for, who they are, and why they are moving.
On the other hand, be sure to encourage your team to listen as much as they talk. Top tier sales professionals know that the best information can be gained when they are silent. That means that by keeping quiet and listening, your leasing consultants show genuine interest in understanding your property’s prospects.
Frequently Train Your Leasing Team
How many of your leasing professionals know the demographics of your market inside and out? If your leasing team doesn’t know how your “product” fits in that market, even the best listeners will fall short in closing a lease. Say you lease a lot of 3-bedroom units to families. With enough training, your leasing consultants will be able to associate local family-friendly events and your apartment community as the perfect place to call home.
Bonus: Your leasing consultants should know what schools, daycares, parks, and entertainment features are located around your property. As silly as it sounds, it wouldn’t hurt if your leasing consultants knew the local bars and happy hours. With ResMan’s resident portal, your on-site staff and residents can share that information with each other!
Give Constructive Feedback to Your Apartment Leasing Consultants
Shadow your leasing staff when they’re showing units so that later, you can provide them with feedback on their leasing techniques. Listen in on calls with prospects, analyze their body language as they engage with prospects, watch for their word choice when they describe your apartment community to walk-ins, and so forth. Ideally, feedback should be given hours after the observation, so the feedback is fresh, and your leasing consultant can reflect on the experience.
Practice With Your Apartment Leasing Consultants
You’ve shadowed them “in the field.” What next? Well, no one gets better without practice. Instill in your team the importance of rehearsing their pitches to prospects. Even if your leasing consultants spend an hour a week practicing, they will see an exponential improvement.
Bonus: Try a little role play with your leasing team. You play the prospect and present them with new and challenging objections or questions that any leasing consultant might face during a tour of your property. This teaches them to think on their toes and to have a bulletproof pitch.
Help Your Apartment Leasing Consultants Overcome the Fear of Rejection
Salesperson or leasing professional, no matter who is doing the pitching, your audience will probably have some objections or reservations. If your leasing consultants haven’t prepared for rejection, then it may cause them to get frustrated, nervous, and even lose control of the tour. Especially when it comes to less experienced leasing consultants. To help them overcome the fear, let them know that rejection comes with every sales job.
Bonus: It’s even more important to help your leasing consultants understand that objections aren’t a definite “no.” Leasing consultants need to know that when prospects ask questions and state their concerns, it’s their opportunity to problem solve (see #3). The solution is your apartment community.
Have Fun With Your Apartment Leasing Team
Sure, it’s work. But that doesn’t mean it has to feel that way all the time. Make leasing fun…because it is!